Kiké was the star, but this was a team victory from the manager to the bullpen.

The big hero last night was Kiké and his improbable three-run home against the fireball Josh Hader.  As Ken Gurnick noted last night it was the first time that Kiké had ever homered on an 0 – 2 count and it was the first home run ever given up by Hader on an 0 – 2 count. 

Here is the math for the home run. I bet you didn’t expect a paragraph like this ten years ago when explaining a home run.

According to Statcast, the 95.5-mph pitch had a spin rate of 2327 RPM and a pitch height of 3.04 feet, and Hader had an extension of 7.1 feet. It exited at 106.1 mph and traveled an estimated 399 feet with a launch angle of 20 degrees and a hang time of 4.3 second.

As big as the home run was, Friday Night was a microcosm of how to win tough games. Ross Stripling gave up two runs in the first but you can’t be upset when someone gives up a home run to Christian Yelich. It is the in thing to do right now in the NL.  Down 2 – 0 after one is never a good look, but Ross buckled down and did what he’s done in every April he’s been in a rotation.  Ross and the bullpen allowed only one more run giving the Dodger offense plenty of time to come back.

The Pitching Breakdown – Ross for 14 outs, two earned in 1st, comes out after intelligently walking Yelich. Alexander comes in and gets Mike Moustakas to ground out to end the fifth.  Alexander starts the 6th, gives up a single, then gets his specialty, the ground ball double play.  With two outs, Alexander gives up two straight singles, putting two on with two out. Dylan Floro comes in and does what Dylan Floro does, a pop up out to end the threat in the 6th.  The key moves here is that when Floro replaced Alexander, it became a double switch and Hernandez came into to play 2nd, Muncy moved to 1st, and Bellinger to RF.  This doesn’t happen in the AL. Nothing happens in the AL.   Floro gets the first batter in the 7th but then hits Cain, bringing up Yelich. Dave Roberts counters with Pedro Baez and it works out with Yelich just missing it, and hitting a long fly ball for an out. Moustakas gives Pedro all he has for eight pitches but Baez strikes him out on the 9th pitch.  Joe Kelly comes in to protect the three-run lead that Hernandez gave the Dodgers with his home run in the top of the eighth.  Joe has struggled all season but with each appearance, he seems to be finding his groove. Joe strikes out the first two Brewers and just as you think he’s coming around, Marcus Thames crushes a solo home run to cut the lead to 5 -3.  Joe finishes the innings with another strikeout and struck out the side around the solo home run. Kenley Jansen comes in for the save and needs to get three straight outs so the Yelich will not come up representing the tying run. Jansen is up to the task and sets down the Brewers in order in what I think was his best appearance to date.

Hitting Breakdown – down two runs the Dodgers answer right back on an infield single by Cody Bellinger and a big two-out full count double by Alex Verdugo.  In the 3rd the Dodgers tie the game on a long sacrifice fly to Left Field by Bellinger. They had loaded the bases on two walks and a single. The key play was the walk to Ross Stripling. You won’t see that in the NL.  With the score tied and Josh Hader pitching his second inning the Dodgers went to work. Pollock worked a full count walk. David Freese worked a 3 – 1 walk.  On his 34th pitch, Hernandez drilled the back-breaking three-run home run. Overall the Dodgers earned nine walks last night and that patient approach is what ultimately gave them the opportunities to win this game.

Managing – Dave Roberts made all the right calls in this game. He used the right relief pitchers at the right time. He made the huge double switch that put Hernandez into the game.

That is how you win a tough 5 – 3 game against one of the best teams in baseball.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: